It was supposed to be a doubleheader that would settle the Class 1A Central League baseball championship. It turned out to be a single game that left Beatty still waiting to clinch a spot in the postseason.
The Hornets still should make it to the Class 1A Southern Region Tournament next week at Indian Springs, but Monday’s game against rival Tonopah had to leave a bad taste in their mouths.
Brayden Lynn and Jacob Henry had 2 hits apiece, but Tonopah used 16 stolen bases and took 7 more on wild pitches to post a 9-4 victory over Beatty. Four of the Muckers’ runs scored on wild pitches in a game that was delayed two hours because there were no umpires at the field, and the scheduled second game was awarded to Tonopah by forfeit.
“The other game was a forfeit,” Tonopah coach Mike Jones said after the game. “We agreed to that before the game. We had our guys ready at 12, and here it is 5 o’clock and it would have been an injustice to try and squeeze another one in.”
That left the Hornets at 4-2 in the league, a full two games behind the 6-0 Muckers, who are riding a 9-game winning streak. Spring Mountain (3-3), sitting in third place, wraps up the season today with a doubleheader in Tonopah while the Hornets close out with a trip to last-place Round Mountain.
Barring a very unexpected outcome, Beatty will take the league’s No. 2 seed in the regions. Pahranagat Valley will be the top seed out of the Southern League, with Beaver Dam and Indian Springs, each 2-2 in the league, playing a doubleheader today to settle second place. The Hornets will open tournament play at 3 p.m. Thursday against Pahranagat Valley.
Two games against Round Mountain could help get Beatty back on track going into the playoffs. The Hornets managed just 6 hits and struck out 13 times against Tonopah pitchers Braxton Barker and Kobe Bunker.
Beatty put together two 2-run innings against starter Barker, but they needed some help from the Muckers to do that. In the second inning, Juan Lopez and Lynn each singled with 2 outs, then Barker hit No. 9 hitter Miguel Castro. That brought up Fabian Perez, who launched a fly to right that was misplayed badly, allowing Lopez and Lynn to score and tying the game at 2-2.
Trailing 7-2 going into the bottom of the fifth, the Hornets got things started when Perez led off the inning by drawing the only walk issued by Barker. Perez then stole second and scored on a double by Henry, who took third on a grounder to shortstop by Moises Gonzalez and scored on a wild pitch.
But the Hornets would get no closer. The Muckers added 2 insurance runs in the top of the seventh, while Tonopah’s Kobe Bunker relieved Barker in the sixth inning and promptly struck out the first 5 batters he faced and closed the game.
Facing Bunker after trying in vain to figure out Barker’s breaking ball was a recipe for disaster.
“It’s a 12-to-6 curve ball,” said Barker, now 5-1 with 47 strikeouts and 10 walks in 30 innings. “It worked as it usually does. I’ve got to find a rhythm. I need to get into a groove before I start pitching better, but once I find it, I’m on fire.”
“It’s uncanny when you can throw the ball 10 miles per hour slower than the usual pitcher and be there with the off-speed stuff and work ahead,” Jones said of Barker. “The timing from the cage to (batting practice), nothing is coming in there at 60 miles per hour. So he’s just effective.”
Track and field
Beatty’s track and field athletes recorded 16 personal records at the Centennial FAST Classic on April 26 at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, their last meet before the regional championships.
The Hornets were especially on their game in the sprints, with nine of the PRs set in the 100, 200 and 400 meters. Freshmen Dayanna Sandoval and Cristal Lopez and sophomore Evelin Moreno each set two of them: Sandoval in the 100 (15.42) and 200 (1:22.77), Lopez in the 200 (33.46) and 400 (1:20.52) and Moreno in the 100 (18.64) and 200 (39.90).
Sophomore Carmen Stephenson’s time of 1:02.43 in the 300 hurdles was a personal best for her, while Sandoval’s 12 feet, 6.5 inch long jump was also a PR.
On the boys side, freshman Adriel Oseguera ran the 100 in 13.04, while sophomore Alfonso Sandoval (5:47.39) and freshman Damian Godinez (7:03.04) ran personal bests in the 1,600. Oseguera added a PR in the discus of 88-3, as did Darren Stephenson in the long jump (13-10.5).
Beatty was the only Class 1A team in the 15-team field, and high places were hard to come by. But Oseguera’s discus effort was good for sixth place, while Godinez finished ninth in that event with a throw of 77-5. Godinez also placed 14th in the shot put (27-2.5), while freshman Darren Stephenson took 11th in the triple jump (28-5).
The only top-10 finishes on the girls side came from Lopez, who finished ninth in the discus (68-4) and 10th in the shot put (23-2).